Growing Up – Step #4 Industry

Remember that our Stage Three was to develop INITIATIVE – the ability to respond appropriately to a situation. This is developed because AUTONOMY (the ability to govern oneself and make decisions has developed, and before that, the ability to TRUST oneself and others.

Because we have been able, with encouragement and support, to develop Stages 1 to 3, we can move on to develop Industry.  Industry is developed during the early Elementary School years and ages 5-11.

Through social interactions at school, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. They are given a task or assignment to accomplish and move ahead to complete that task diligently. Children who are encouraged and commended by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents, teachers, or peers will doubt their abilities to be successful, even in the years ahead.

Have you seen a child in a classroom, who sits at his desk with his head in his hands, seemingly daydreaming, and does not do the assignment without repeated prodding from the teacher?  Or perhaps you have seen the child who has a plethora of ideas of other things to do, rather than buckling down to do the job at hand. In many cases, these are the children who do not feel confident in themselves to do the task, or who cannot focus or concentrate on a chore that doesn’t appear to be exciting or fulfilling to them.  The self-doubt with which they struggle is present because they have not developed adequate TRUST in themselves; have not developed AUTONOMY or the ability to make decisions, and do not have the INITIATIVE to even begin the task.

Are you beginning to see the importance to complete every task in the process of emotional and social development in order to reach maturity and be successful in life?

A child who has been able to develop industry during the time period of age 5-11, ends up with a sense of competence, the belief that they are capable of completing task that is set before them.  Even if there is a little concern on their part about success, they will jump in to attempt the task, and in most cases, will be able to complete it.

Usually human beings are great at what they tell themselves they can accomplish.  Attitude and a positive outlook, is in most situations, a secret to success.  And of course, strong parental and teacher support adds to their self-confidence, and ultimately to their successful completion of what is set before them.

This accomplishment is an important precursor to the turbulent teenage years that lie directly ahead, when hormones and peer pressures can easily confuse and sabotage the child.  Again, the strong basis of the years prior to ages 11 or 12, set the stage for greater accomplishment, even in the confusion of the teen years. This is why positive parenting and schooling is so valuable in the early character-forming years!

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